How Google Implements Search Ranking Penalties via Manual Actions

How Google Implements Search Ranking Penalties via Manual Actions

Google has recently implemented penalties for websites that violate its search spam policies. These penalties have resulted in some sites being completely or partially de-listed from Google’s search results, leading to a significant decrease in their search traffic. In addition to being de-listed, these sites also receive a notice of the penalty in the manual actions section of Google Search Console.

Manual actions are issued by Google when a human reviewer determines that certain pages on a site are not compliant with Google’s spam policies. These actions are often taken against sites that attempt to manipulate the search index. As a result of these manual actions, affected pages or sites may be ranked lower or omitted from search results without any visual indication to the user.

Some examples of manual actions that Google has issued include penalties for pure spam and misleading content. Pure spam actions are taken against sites that use aggressive spam techniques such as automatically generated gibberish, cloaking, scraping content from other websites, or repeated violations of Google’s spam policies. On the other hand, penalties for misleading content are given to sites that mislead users into engaging with them by promising details that are not reflected in the actual content.

It is important to note the difference between manual actions and algorithmic updates. Manual actions are performed by humans at Google who review a site and determine if it violates any spam policies. Algorithmic updates, such as core updates or spam updates, are automated and do not result in a notification through Google Search Console’s manual action viewer. A site can be impacted by both a manual action and an algorithm update simultaneously.

If your site receives a manual action, there are steps you can take to fix the violation and have the manual action removed. Google recommends expanding the manual action description panel in the report for more information on the issue. You should then identify which pages are affected and follow the provided steps to fix the issue. It is crucial to fix the issue on all affected pages, as fixing only some pages will not result in a return to search results. Once all issues are fixed, you can request a review through the manual action viewer. In your reconsideration request, you should explain the quality issue on your site, describe the steps taken to fix the issue, and document the outcome of your efforts.

Keep in mind that reconsideration reviews can take several days or weeks, depending on the nature of the request. Google will notify you by email when they receive your request and when the review is complete.

It is recommended that site owners regularly check their site’s manual action viewer to see if any manual actions have been taken against their site. If a manual action has been issued, it is important to take appropriate actions to recover and go through the reconsideration request process.

In conclusion, Google’s implementation of search ranking penalties through manual actions serves as a means to enforce its spam policies and maintain the integrity of its search results. Site owners should be aware of these penalties and take necessary measures to comply with Google’s guidelines to avoid being de-listed or experiencing a significant drop in search traffic.

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